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Owner Of Sprint Backlog | The Ultimate Guide To The Sprint Backlog

Product Backlog Explained! Know All About Scrum Product Backlog

What Goes into a Sprint Backlog?

As Mountain Goat Software’s Mike Cohn explains, sprint backlogs are often built-in spreadsheets, but they can also be developed and maintained in software tools designed for agile project management or even in your organization’s bug-tracking application.

Because these lists include only work that can be completed in a short timeframe (typically, two or four weeks), sprint backlogs are often very simple.

An example of a sprint backlog template might look like this:

Who Owns the Sprint Backlog?

According to the scrum framework, the entire agile team — scrum master, product owner, and development team members — will share ownership of the sprint backlog. This is because all members of the team will bring unique knowledge and insights to the project at the beginning of each sprint.

The product owner might be aware of new market realities or changing organizational priorities that will necessitate prioritizing specific user stories or fixes. The developers might have learned in recent sprints that certain development work is taking longer than the team had initially anticipated. All of these insights will help the team arrive at a more feasible, strategically sound sprint backlog.

Although choosing the tasks for a sprint backlog is a team effort, it is important to note that the team will often choose items based on how well they align with the sprint goal, which the product owner sets. In this sense, the product owner will guide the sprint backlog decisions by first establishing the overall goal for the sprint.

Product Backlog Explained! Know All About Scrum Product Backlog
Product Backlog Explained! Know All About Scrum Product Backlog

How Ownership of the Sprint Backlog is Decided

Ownership of the Sprint Backlog is shared by the Development Team, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner. Each stakeholder has a specific role in creating, updating, and prioritizing the Sprint Backlog. The team is responsible for completing items in the Sprint Backlog and updating it based on their progress. The Scrum Master ensures that the team is following Scrum principles and processes and facilitates the Scrum ceremonies. The Product Owner defines the requirements and priorities and works with the team to prioritize items in the Sprint Backlog based on business needs.

It is important to note that ownership of the Sprint Backlog does not mean that each stakeholder has equal decision-making power. The Product Owner ultimately has the final say in what items are included in the Sprint Backlog and their priority. However, the Development Team and Scrum Master have the ability to provide input and feedback on the items and their feasibility. This collaborative approach ensures that the Sprint Backlog is aligned with the overall goals of the project and that the team is able to deliver a high-quality product.

Understanding the purpose of sprint backlogs

A sprint backlog outlines the specific tasks and activities in a sprint for a project team. It draws the items from the product backlog, which is why backlog refinement is crucial. Without a properly maintained backlog, you risk working on items that aren’t relevant to your customers or the product roadmap.

The team uses the product backlog and their current workload to determine which tasks are feasible to complete within the sprint’s timeframe. Once a task is deemed feasible, it moves to the sprint backlog. If it’s too large, it’s broken into smaller sprints. Working in smaller, timed sprints helps teams remain agile.

Think of the sprint backlog as the team’s plan of action for that particular sprint. It keeps the team on track and focused to achieve the sprint’s goals. During daily sprint reviews, project managers assess whether their teams are on target and celebrate wins along the way.

What is a Product Backlog and What is a Sprint Backlog?
What is a Product Backlog and What is a Sprint Backlog?

How to Prioritize Items in the Sprint Backlog?

Prioritizing items in the sprint backlog is a critical aspect of effective sprint planning. Here are some strategies to help you prioritize items and backlog refinement effectively:

  1. Business Value: Consider the value each user story or task brings to the project. Focus on high-value items that align with the project’s objectives and deliver significant benefits to the users or stakeholders.
  2. Dependencies: Identify any dependencies between user stories or tasks. Prioritize items that need to be completed first to avoid blocking other work.
  3. Technical Complexity: Assess the technical complexity of each item. Prioritize tasks that require specialized knowledge or are interdependent with other technical components.
  4. Risks: Evaluate the risks associated with each item. Prioritize tasks that mitigate potential risks or address critical issues.
  5. Internal and External Dependencies: Consider any external dependencies, such as third-party integrations or dependencies on other teams. Prioritize tasks that align with external schedules or enable other teams to proceed with their work.

Prioritize Items in the Sprint Backlog by Priority, Scores and timeline in Viindoo Project

By considering these factors, you can ensure that the most important and impactful items are prioritized, leading to a more efficient and successful sprint.

Who Owns the Sprint Backlog?

According to the scrum framework, the entire agile team — scrum master, product owner, and development team members — will share ownership of the sprint backlog. This is because all members of the team will bring unique knowledge and insights to the project at the beginning of each sprint.

The product owner might be aware of new market realities or changing organizational priorities that will necessitate prioritizing specific user stories or fixes. The developers might have learned in recent sprints that certain development work is taking longer than the team had initially anticipated. All of these insights will help the team arrive at a more feasible, strategically sound sprint backlog.

Although choosing the tasks for a sprint backlog is a team effort, it is important to note that the team will often choose items based on how well they align with the sprint goal, which the product owner sets. In this sense, the product owner will guide the sprint backlog decisions by first establishing the overall goal for the sprint.

How to Facilitate Sprint Planning
How to Facilitate Sprint Planning

What Does a Sprint Backlog Contain?

Officially, the Sprint Backlog contains a plan for the Sprint. Usually, it will contain the Product Backlog Items (PBIs) that the team forecast to complete, along with a list of prioritized tasks broken down for each PBI to execute by a team. The order is based on the priority of the Product Backlog Item. The Product Owner works with the business to understand their priorities and then they pass that information to the Scrum Team. The team uses their current velocity, or how much work they can complete, to predict what they can fit into the current Sprint. Once they make the plan for the Sprint, the Development Team should compare the total hours of all the task against their capacity and make a final determination of what they can expect to complete.

How to Ensure Transparency and Accountability in Sprint Backlog Ownership

Transparency and accountability are essential for effective Sprint Backlog management. The team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner should all have visibility into the Sprint Backlog and its progress. They should be honest and transparent about progress and challenges. The Sprint Backlog should be regularly inspected and reviewed to ensure progress is being made and potential issues are being addressed. By being transparent and accountable, stakeholders can ensure that the Sprint Backlog is properly owned and managed.

Sprint Planning Meeting Explained | Know all about Sprint Planning Meeting
Sprint Planning Meeting Explained | Know all about Sprint Planning Meeting

The Importance of Continuous Improvement in Scrum

Continuous improvement is a core principle of Scrum. Stakeholders should review and adapt the Scrum framework and processes on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting business needs. The Sprint Backlog should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that it reflects changes in business needs and priorities. Stakeholders should work together to identify areas for improvement and implement changes quickly and effectively.

A solid sprint backlog keeps a team focused during their Scrum sprints, which refers to the timeboxed period of time allotted to complete work. It’s a task list a team works from during the sprint that helps prevent scope creep. These tasks come from the product backlog, which is useful in sprint planning. That’s because they allow you to prioritize which tasks to pursue. Typically, the project manager and their team decide on these tasks during a sprint planning meeting.

This article dives into the purpose of sprint backlogs and how to create them effectively using software and tools such as Jira Software.

Tips for Effective Sprint Backlog Management with Viindoo Project Software

Viindoo Project Software is an project management software follow with agile principles that provides features and functionalities to effectively manage your sprint backlog. Here are some tips for using this Project management software for efficient sprint backlog management:

  1. User Story Management: Use Viindoo’s intuitive interface to create, prioritize, and manage user stories. Assign story points or effort estimates to better understand the workload and plan sprints effectively.
  2. Task Breakdown: Break down user stories into smaller tasks using Viindoo’s task management features. Assign tasks to team members, set due dates, and track their progress throughout the sprint.
  3. Burndown Chart: Utilize Viindoo’s burndown chart to visualize the progress of your sprint backlog. This chart shows the remaining work against the planned work, allowing you to identify any deviations from the original plan.
  4. Collaboration and Communication: Viindoo offers features for collaboration and communication, such as commenting and tagging team members. Use these features to ensure clear communication and keep everyone informed about the status of user stories and tasks.
  5. Integration with Version Control Systems: Viindoo seamlessly integrates with popular version control systems like Git. This integration allows you to link user stories and tasks directly to code commits, ensuring traceability and visibility into the development process.

Effective Sprint Backlog Management: Operation, Breakdown task and control dependencies

By leveraging Viindoo Project Software’s capabilities, you can streamline your sprint backlog management, enhance team collaboration, and improve overall productivity in Agile software development projects.

Refining the Refinement | Product Backlog Refinement or Grooming Basics
Refining the Refinement | Product Backlog Refinement or Grooming Basics

How to create a sprint backlog

A sprint occurs within a specified timeframe, so the project team needs a well-defined backlog to ensure they stay on track with their tasks. A strong sprint backlog ensures that work can and will be completed during that time period.

Here is how to create a robust sprint backlog

Determine your sprint goals

Because sprints last for a fixed period, it’s important to establish the sprint goals first. Sprint backlogs should include clearly defined goals for the team, which keep your team focused and on task. The sprint backlog also prevents scope creep. Make sure your goals are specific and can be completed within the time constraint of the sprint.

Discuss the backlog with your team

Collaboration is vital to creating an effective sprint backlog. Sprint planning meetings are the perfect time to discuss backlog items with your team. You want their buy-in on the tasks they’ll be working on. This also helps give them a sense of ownership of the project.

Lean on their expertise regarding what they can accomplish, given their current capacity and technical abilities. A sprint planning meeting template is useful for structuring these sessions.

Organize and prioritize tasks

Organizing and prioritizing tasks is vital to help your team focus on what is most important. To organize and prioritize tasks in the backlog, start with user stories. From these stories, the team can identify high-priority tasks. Once this is complete, you can order all other tasks based on their importance in the user story. Once the team has prioritized tasks, they can further break them down into subtasks.

Monitor and update as needed

Project managers monitor team progress to assess whether the team is on track with the sprint. They can then make process improvements if necessary. This is vital because, during a sprint, a team may have too much or not enough work. Daily sprint reviews and stand-up meetings ensure everyone knows what each team member is working on and help identify bottlenecks in the team. This allows team members to help each other when necessary to deliver the tasks on time.

Jira Software’s Scrum template includes several tools to help you plan sprints effectively. There’s also a helpful tutorial page on how to get started creating a sprint backlog with Jira.

Let’s take a look at an example of a sprint backlog, which you can easily create during your sprint planning meetings with Jira. It should have the task name, difficulty level, priority, and user story.

Task

Create a comment feature

Description

Users want to comment on and react to their friends’ posts.

Priority

High

Effort level

Moderate effort

Time required

2 days

Assignee

Lanisha, DesignerRoland, Developer

Deliverable

Comment box

Due date

Aug. 24

The Development Team’s Role in the Sprint Backlog

The Development Team is responsible for completing the tasks in the Sprint Backlog and delivering a working product at the end of each Sprint. The Development Team estimates the effort required for each task and updates the Sprint Backlog accordingly. The Development Team also collaborates with the Product Owner to ensure that the Sprint Backlog reflects the highest-priority items from the Product Backlog.

In addition to their primary responsibilities, the Development Team also participates in the Sprint Planning meeting where they discuss the tasks and their dependencies. During the meeting, the Development Team identifies any potential roadblocks and comes up with a plan to overcome them. They also discuss the capacity of the team and decide on the number of tasks they can commit to completing during the Sprint.

Furthermore, the Development Team is responsible for ensuring that the product is of high quality. They achieve this by conducting thorough testing and reviewing the code to identify any defects or bugs. The Development Team also ensures that the product meets the acceptance criteria defined by the Product Owner and that it is ready for release at the end of the Sprint.

Sprint Backlog Explained
Sprint Backlog Explained

Common Issues Teams Face and How to Resolve Them

Scrum Teams that often “fail”, or are frequently unable to complete all of their work in a Sprint, can usually point to poor planning or Product Backlog items that are too large. Another common problem is having teams commit to too much work right off the bat.

These issues can normally be resolved through constant communication between the Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. Teams fail when they do not break down items into manageable tasks, do not revisit the Sprint Backlog daily, and do not communicate problems.

Capacity management is also in play. Scrum Masters have to look at the team and see what the team’s availability is for the Sprint. Figure out who is on the team and how many days they are available to work, taking into account vacation time, potential sick time and anything else that might draw a team member away from work. Understanding these little things can help to ascertain the actual capacity of a team.

Here is a quick example of capacity planning. Team members don’t generally work 8 straight hours, especially in the software world. Instead, plan on 6 hours of work each day. In a 10 day sprint, there would probably be a full 8 days worth of work and another 2 days for Sprint Planning, Review and Retrospective. Doing the math: 8 days times 6 hours per day equals 48 hours available per team member. Therefore, a team of 5 has 240 hours of capacity.

After calculating the work capacity of a whole team you can deduct the hours from absent team members. This is your grand total. The final step is planning out the Sprint and comparing your total task hours to your total capacity.

Not all Certified Scrum Trainers teach these methods. I do in my classes because I feel they are helpful, but they are not required. It makes a big difference. Hope to see you in class!

Who Owns The Sprint Backlog

Who Owns The Sprint Backlog

Scrum is a popular Agile framework for managing software development. The Sprint Backlog is a crucial artifact in Scrum that lists out the tasks that the Development Team must complete in a given Sprint. The Sprint Backlog typically includes items from the Product Backlog and is owned jointly by the team, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner. But who exactly owns the Sprint Backlog? Let’s dive deeper into Scrum and the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder to understand who owns the Sprint Backlog.

Roles and Responsibilities in Scrum

In Scrum, there are three primary roles: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Development Team. The Product Owner is responsible for creating and prioritizing the Product Backlog, which is a list of features, functions, and other requirements that the product must meet. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team follows Scrum principles and processes during each Sprint. The Development Team is responsible for completing the tasks in the Sprint Backlog and delivering a working product at the end of each Sprint.

It is important to note that while each role has specific responsibilities, Scrum emphasizes collaboration and teamwork. The Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team work together to ensure that the product meets the needs of the customer and is delivered on time. Additionally, each role is expected to be self-organizing and cross-functional, meaning that team members should be able to work on a variety of tasks and take ownership of their work.

YDS: How Does a Product Owner Order a Product Backlog?
YDS: How Does a Product Owner Order a Product Backlog?

How Does a Sprint Backlog Work?

During Sprint Planning the Product Backlog items on the Sprint Backlog are broken into tasks that can be completed within one-day. This allows us to see daily progress and helps with multiple people working on a Product Backlog item simultaneously.

Once you have the Sprint Backlog, it is locked in. Teams cannot remove items from the Sprint Backlog once they added it and the Sprint Planning is over. They can add more items to the list but they can’t remove items. If an item doesn’t finish, the Product Owner will need to decide what to with that PBI. The Product Owner is the only individual that can remove things from the Sprint Backlog if it no longer provides business value. They cannot replace it with something else.

Resolving Conflicts over Ownership of the Sprint Backlog

Conflicts over ownership of the Sprint Backlog can arise when stakeholders have conflicting priorities or goals. To resolve these conflicts, it is important to communicate openly and honestly. The team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner should discuss and negotiate priorities and work together to find a common ground. Regular retrospectives and stakeholder feedback can help identify and address any conflicts early on.

How To Prioritize A Product Backlog? | #6
How To Prioritize A Product Backlog? | #6

How to Monitor the Sprint Progress?

We know that the development team creates a plan to deliver the sprint backlog to meet sprint goals. But how do we track this daily to know if the team is on track? Let’s quickly review how estimating the stories or tasks happen in the sprint to understand this better. There are various methodologies that the team can adopt. One of the common methodologies is to give story points to the stories.

Story Pointing

The story point is nothing but an estimate of the complexity of implementing/developing a story. These are numbers like 1,2,3,5,8 and 13. Each team would eventually figure out how many story points they can deliver in a sprint, and this is a driving factor for sprint planning. Once all the story tasks are complete and meet the definition of “done”, then the story will change its status to “done”.

Remaining Hours

In addition to story points, some teams also put hours into the stories and tasks. E.g., Story has a story point of 2 and effort hours as 6 hours. Now at the end of the day, each developer will update the remaining effort. Note that the emphasis here is remaining work hours and not how many hours have been spent. E.g., a story was estimated to be 6 hours, but the developer has used those 6 hours, but he still thinks that 3 hours’ worth of work is remaining. So at the end of the day, he will update the remaining hours from 6 to 3 and update the total hours worked as 6. This shows that while the estimate was 6 hours, it would take 9 hours to complete it. The discussion on the progress happens every day in the daily stand up call.

Sprint Burndown Chart

The sprint backlog is a highly visible and real-time picture of the development team’s work during the current sprint. There are various tools available to track progress. One of the most common ways is via the Sprint BurndownChart. The common way to show burndown is on story points, though some teams prefer to do it in the remaining hours. The story points need to be small for effective burndown.

The sprint burndown chart shows the ideal story points or remaining hours that team needed to complete on a given day, compared to actual story points or remaining hours. E.g., If the team has picked up 50 story points for a 2 weeks sprint, then the ideal burndown will be 5 story points each day. The actual story burndown is based on how many stories point the team can complete. This graph gives a good picture of whether the team is going as per plan or slipping. The team can collectively take the next steps to bring the plan back on track or negotiate the product owner’s scope.

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What is a Sprint Backlog?

Collaborating on the Sprint Backlog: Best Practices

To ensure that the Sprint Backlog is properly owned and managed, the Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner should collaborate effectively. The team should frequently review and update the Sprint Backlog to ensure that it reflects the latest priorities and progress. The Scrum Master should facilitate frequent communication and collaboration between the team and Product Owner to ensure that the Sprint Backlog is aligned with the Product vision and goals.

It is also important for the team to prioritize the items in the Sprint Backlog based on their importance and dependencies. This helps the team to focus on the most critical items first and ensures that the Sprint goal is achieved. The team should also break down the items into smaller, manageable tasks and estimate the effort required for each task. This helps the team to plan their work effectively and ensures that they are able to complete the Sprint Backlog within the Sprint time-box.

Introduction to Scrum - 7 Minutes
Introduction to Scrum – 7 Minutes

Sprint backlog: Frequently asked questions

Who is responsible for the sprint backlog?

The entire development team is responsible for the sprint backlog. This shared ownership requires the input of the product owner, project manager, and sprint team. Everyone collaborates to determine which product backlog tasks should move to the sprint backlog. The team then sets realistic deadlines for the deliverables and task completion.

When should you utilize a sprint backlog?

A sprint backlog is part of sprint planning. However, your frequency of use will depend on the length of your sprints, and even that can vary from team to team in your company. But if you’re working in an Agile methodology, the best practice is to utilize one for every sprint you plan.

How often should you update a sprint backlog?

Daily. The sprint backlog helps you continually monitor your team’s progress. You can reconcile the estimated time and the actual time to complete each task, keeping your team on task and helping you decide if any adjustments are necessary.

How to Use the Sprint Backlog in the Daily Stand-Up

The Daily Scrum, sometimes referred to as the Daily Stand-Up, is a discussion about what the team did since the last meeting, what they will be doing until the next meeting, and what impediments or problems certain team members are facing preventing them from getting their work done. This event should be no longer than 15 minutes. One helpful aspect of these meetings is seeing the Sprint Backlog daily to visually show progress on what the team is working on.

Top 4 Prioritization techniques in Product Management explained simply
Top 4 Prioritization techniques in Product Management explained simply

Sprint Backlog Template:

Backlog Task ASSIGNED TO TASK STATUS ESTIMATE (DAYS)
User story #1
Task
Task
Task
User story #2
Task
Task
Task
Bug fix #1
Task
Task
Task

Sprint backlogproduct backlog: Differences explained

Although the terms “sprint backlog” and “product backlog” sound similar, they are quite different. Let’s look at what a sprint backlog may include and how it differs from a product backlog.

Product backlog

Sprint backlog

A product backlog is the list of items to include in a given product, such as new features, customer requests, bug fixes, and other improvements.

A sprint backlog comprises specific items on the product backlog, making it a subset. Your team chooses which product backlog items to work on in a sprint and puts them on the sprint backlog.

Business needs and objectives determine the priority of items in the product backlog.

Team capacity and sprint goals determine the priority of items in a sprint backlog.

The product owner owns the product backlog.

The development team owns and maintains the sprint backlog.

The product backlog forms part of a product’s long-term strategic plan and evolves with the product.

The sprint backlog is a short-term plan to accomplish a series of tasks within a sprint. The team cannot alter it during a sprint.

The product backlog’s scope is the entire product.

The sprint backlog’s scope is the subset of product backlog items included in the sprint.

A sprint backlog is created from a product backlog, so the sprint backlog cannot exist without a product backlog. During each sprint planning meeting, the project manager and their team discuss the priorities of the backlog items with the product manager. The team then determines the plan of action to deliver the items included in the sprint backlog.

backlog refinement in jira I step by step backlog refinement I backlog refinement facilitation
backlog refinement in jira I step by step backlog refinement I backlog refinement facilitation

FAQ

Can the sprint backlog be changed during the sprint?

Ideally, the sprint backlog should remain fixed during the sprint to provide stability and focus. However, in certain cases, changes may be necessary due to unforeseen circumstances or new information. It is important to minimize changes to avoid disrupting the team’s progress but allow flexibility for essential modifications.

How often should the sprint backlog be reviewed?

The sprint backlog should be reviewed on a daily basis during the daily stand-up meetings. This helps the team stay updated on the progress of individual tasks and identify any potential issues or roadblocks. Regular reviews allow for timely adjustments and ensure that the sprint stays on track.

What happens to incomplete work at the end of a sprint?

Any incomplete work from the sprint backlog is typically returned to the product backlog. The product owner can then prioritize these items based on their importance and move them into subsequent sprints or future releases.

Is Viindoo Project easy to use?

Yes, Viindoo Project is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use. We offer training and support to help users become familiar with the software and its features.

Can Viindoo Project integrate with other software systems

Yes, our Viindoo Project offer integration with other software systems, ensures that all of your business operations are seamlessly connected and optimized for efficiency.

Learn About the Scrum Artifact: Sprint Backlog

As described in the Scrum Guide, the Sprint Backlog is composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the Increment (how).

The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers. It is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Developers plan to accomplish during the Sprint in order to achieve the Sprint Goal. Consequently, the Sprint Backlog is updated throughout the Sprint as more is learned. It should have enough detail that they can inspect their progress in the Daily Scrum.

Commitment: Sprint Goal

The Sprint Goal is the single objective for the Sprint. Although the Sprint Goal is a commitment by the Developers, it provides flexibility in terms of the exact work needed to achieve it. The Sprint Goal also creates coherence and focus, encouraging the Scrum Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives.

The Sprint Goal is created during the Sprint Planning event and then added to the Sprint Backlog. As the Developers work during the Sprint, they keep the Sprint Goal in mind. If the work turns out to be different than they expected, they collaborate with the Product Owner to negotiate the scope of the Sprint Backlog within the Sprint without affecting the Sprint Goal.

Increment

An Increment is a concrete stepping stone toward the Product Goal. Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments and thoroughly verified, ensuring that all Increments work together. In order to provide value, the Increment must be usable.

Multiple Increments may be created within a Sprint. The sum of the Increments is presented at the Sprint Review thus supporting empiricism. However, an Increment may be delivered to stakeholders prior to the end of the Sprint. The Sprint Review should never be considered a gate to releasing value.

Work cannot be considered part of an Increment unless it meets the Definition of Done.

Search all Resources related to Backlogs.

The Ultimate Guide to the Sprint Backlog

Agile software development continues to be a staple based on its successive iterative style. Common Scrum events include Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective. A key artifact in Scrum is the Sprint Backlog. In Agile, this backlog may be called an iteration backlog. It is highly versatile but is easy to misuse. This guide shares what the Sprint Backlog is, how it fits into Scrum, best practices, and so much more. We hope this guide helps you and your team achieve success in future projects.

Backlog Refinement - How and Why | ScrumMastered
Backlog Refinement – How and Why | ScrumMastered

The Importance of Sprint Backlog in Agile Development

The sprint backlog serves several important purposes in Agile development:

  1. Guides the Development Team: The sprint backlog provides a clear plan for the team, outlining the tasks and user stories they need to focus on during the sprint. It acts as a reference point, ensuring that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.
  2. Transparency: By sharing the sprint backlog with stakeholders, the development team can provide visibility into the progress being made and manage expectations effectively. Stakeholders can track the completion of user stories and understand how their priorities are being addressed.
  3. Empowers Self-Organization: The sprint backlog allows the development team to take ownership of their work. They have the flexibility to decide how to break down user stories into tasks and choose which tasks they will work on based on their skills and availability.
  4. Facilitates Collaboration: The sprint backlog promotes interdepartmental collaboration within the development team. By breaking user stories into smaller tasks, team members can work together, share responsibilities, and help each other when needed.
  5. Focuses on Short-Term Goals: The sprint backlog keeps the team focused on short-term goals that align with the sprint duration. This ensures that the team remains agile and can adapt to changes more easily.

Viindoo Sprint Backlogs – visibility into the progress and Focuses on Short Term Goals

What Is the Sprint Backlog?

The Sprint Backlog is, ultimately, a plan for the Sprint. The development team executing work inside of a Sprint creates a Sprint Backlog. The creation occurs during the Sprint Planning. The central question is, how does this work get done? The Product Owner presents a list of prioritized items from the Product Backlog. The team will analyze the list, do capacity management, figure out what they can do, and make a plan to execute. The Sprint Backlog is a plan to achieve the overall goals of the Sprint.

Teams can benefit from the Sprint Backlog because it gives them a direction on a day-to-day basis and keeps the group on track. Scrum does not require you to create tasks (though most teams will do this anyway). On a daily basis, teams meet to see if they are on track, comparing their completed work against their original plan. One metric coming out of the Sprint Backlog is the burndown chart. If you have tasks to complete in a Sprint, this compares actual completion against the plan.

When you use tools, such as a burndown chart, you understand quickly when the team is falling behind, if you need to adjust the plan for the Sprint, and communicate expectations to the Product Owner. Another positive aspect is that teams are able to identify if they are ahead of schedule or behind schedule (and may need to put in additional work for the Sprint). Every situation is different, but the Sprint Backlog drives opportunity and execution, provides a visual to help the team know if they are on-track, and helps to manage expectations.

What Is Sprint Planning in Agile ? | Sprint Planning Meeting in Agile Explained | Simplilearn
What Is Sprint Planning in Agile ? | Sprint Planning Meeting in Agile Explained | Simplilearn

What Is the Difference between Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog?

The Product Backlog contains a list all of the items to be completed for overall product success. The Sprint Backlog is a subset of the Product Backlog. It is a forecast of work to be done in the Sprint’s expected time frame. Sprint Planning is an event where the Product Owner presents the most important Product Backlog Items and clarifies the details. Teams will then determine what they can execute in the Sprint based on priority order. What they believe they can complete is added to the Sprint Backlog.

What is a Sprint Backlog?

A Sprint Backlog is a set of Product Backlog items that we select for the sprint. It also includes a plan to deliver these items and to meet the sprint goal. It essentially contains everything that the Scrum Development Team will work on, including Stories, tasks, defects, tech debts, improvement areas from previous retrospectives, etc.

There shouldn’t be anything that the team will work on that is not on the sprint backlog.

Who Decides and owns the Sprint Backlog?

It’s a very tricky question, and you will find two viewpoints in most tutorials – One that says Scrum Team and the other which says Development Team. Let’s dig this deep. First, let’s understand how a Sprint backlog is identified. We know that the Product Backlog is a prioritized list of all the needed items in the sprint. Who decides this prioritization? Product Owner. He is the only one who decides the priority of the backlog. The features he would need first in the product will be listed higher in the priority.

Now let’s see how the backlog is chosen. The sprint backlog is finalized during the Sprint Planning meeting, which happens on the first day of the sprint. During Sprint Planning, the Product owner tells the team the features he is looking for in the sprint (reflected in product backlog priority). This, at a high level, indicates the Sprint goal. The development team then starts picking up prioritized items from the backlog. The development team decides what all they can do in the current sprint. It’s important to note that only the Development team decides what they can do in a given sprint. Once they have finalized the scope, the Sprint goal can be defined or modified (from what the product owner had initially thought).

So to answer the original question – While the Product owner indicates the features that need to be developed, the Sprint backlog is owned by the Development team.

Is Sprint backlog prioritized?

We already know that product backlog is a priority, and sprint backlog is a subset of the product backlog. So the prioritization will automatically inherit? While this is true, it’s not how it works for the sprint backlog. The Development team owns it to change the prioritization of what stories need to be done first. This can be based on several factors. E.g., There is a back-end task that needs to be done first as the UI tasks depend on them. This can also change based on skillsets required for the tasks and availability of resources within the sprint.

Remember that Sprint Backlog is not just listing out stories and tasks that the development team will do. It also includes a plan to deliver this within the sprint. This plan’s creation also happens in Sprint planning, where the team prioritizes the stories and tasks to meet the sprint goal.

Can we modify the sprint backlog during the Sprint?

As per Scrum Guide – The development team modifies the sprint backlog throughout the sprint as they learn more about the work that needs to finish to meet the sprint goal. We need to understand this modification by adding additional details to stories or adding new tasks. But all these modifications still align with the sprint goals. The team doesn’t make any change or make additions that don’t align with the sprint goal. It’s important to note that only the development team can change the Sprint Backlog during the sprint.

What is the difference between a Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog?

We have already seen some differences between the two – but let’s revisit those and more.

  • The first key difference is that the Product Backlog represents work that needs to be done by for the entire product, while Sprint backlog is a subset that represents the work that will be done in the current sprint.
  • The Product Owner owns the Product Backlog while the Development Team owns the Sprint Backlog.
  • The Product backlog keeps changing based on stakeholder feedback, market conditions, etc. Its modification happens during the sprint to reflect additional understanding as the team starts working. However, the work still aligns with the Sprint Goals.
  • The Product Backlog is a living backlog, which exists until the product live. The sprint backlog limit is the current sprint, and another one for the next sprints replaces it.
  • Additionally, it is more refined, and it has enough details for the team to start working on. The product backlog will have several items that don’t have enough detail and represent only a high-level functionality.
Scrum Sprint Review
Scrum Sprint Review

Conclusion

The sprint backlog serves as a fundamental tool in Agile development, enabling the development team to plan, track, and execute work effectively within a sprint. By understanding its definition, ownership, and management, you can optimize the use of the sprint backlog and drive successful project outcomes. Remember to prioritize items wisely, encourage collaboration, and leverage tools like Viindoo Project Software to streamline your sprint backlog management process. Keep evolving and adapting your practices to ensure continuous improvement in your Agile development journey.

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Last updated

29 June 2023

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How can you effectively manage the various aspects of your complex project? Complex projects often pose difficulties that can impact your team’s productivity and efficiency. Fortunately, in today’s software development landscape, many tools are available to support your teams.

One such approach is the implementation of sprints, which are short periods of focused effort aimed at carrying out specific tasks. Integrating sprints into the way you work can be beneficial, but it can also present its challenges. For instance, deciding which tasks to take on first can be painstaking.

A sprint backlog serves as a dynamic artifact outlining the tasks your team will undertake during the sprint. This invaluable asset ensures clarity and focus among team members as they work towards achieving their goals. This blog post offers an overview of the sprint backlog concept to help you with your research.

A sprint backlog is an important aspect of the Agile development framework, particularly within the Scrum project management methodology. It’s a dynamic document that defines the set of tasks, user stories, and features that the development team intends to accomplish during a single sprint (a time-boxed iteration often lasting from one to four weeks). The team draft the sprint backlog at the start of each sprint based on the prioritized items from the product backlog.

The sprint backlog acts as a plan and a commitment by the development team for the upcoming sprint. It offers transparency and clarity on the job required, how it will be done, and who will execute it. The sprint backlog is a living artifact that evolves throughout the sprint as fresh information emerges or criteria change.

The sprint backlog has several purposes, but the main one is the sprint goal. It plays a crucial role in providing flexibility by offering a clear overview of what needs to be achieved within a specific sprint, thus aligning the mindset of the developers with the envisioned objective.

It also serves as a solid guideline to prevent scope creep, which happens when project owners add new deliverables during a sprint, delaying the project and discouraging developers.

During the sprint planning phase, all stakeholders work together to define the goal, which serves as a guiding light for the developers throughout the process. The sprint backlog also makes it easier for team members to communicate effectively, which helps them monitor their progress, adjust to changes, and make data-driven decisions throughout the sprint.

During Agile software development, there are several goals to meet. When you decide to use a sprint, it should document several specific items like your sprint’s name, described user stories, and the priority of each task.

Here are the key elements to consider when embarking on your backlog:

User stories are software features the end user suggests. Prioritize the features based on their value and how they align with the sprint goal to help you understand how each feature affects the end user.

While task naming may sometimes be overlooked, it’s critical for organizing your sprint backlog. Assigning action-oriented names to each task is ideal. For example, begin task names with a verb, such as “Develop a new purchase component for the mobile app.” Descriptive task names ensure all stakeholders easily comprehend the backlog and the tasks being worked on by team members.

Briefly describe each task within the current sprint. This allows every stakeholder to understand the nature of each task and helps the development team gain clarity on deliverables and upcoming tasks.

Your project will encompass tasks with varying levels of effort and time requirements. Prioritize tasks based on their alignment with your critical goals. Include the effort estimation for each task, as this will aid in meeting sprint deadlines.

The burndown chart displays workflow in the current sprint. It shows a graph comparing the work left with the time it takes. During the sprint, the scrum team utilizes this chart for estimating the duration of each iteration, and it provides insights into their ability to complete tasks within the allotted time.

Another crucial element is time allocation. To estimate task durations accurately, keep track of daily time allocations to understand the time required for each task. Once you have the data, sum up the weekly time allocations for different functions and input them into your burndown chart. This practice aids in better estimation.

Incorporating these elements into your backlog provides a comprehensive plan for the development team. While backlogs may vary, including these key components is vital for successful sprint execution.

A sprint backlog during Agile software development would be best, especially when using an incremental approach like Scrum. The backlog can be essential for planning, executing, and tracking the project during a sprint.

You create a sprint backlog during a sprint planning session where you and your team select the user stories for a sprint and the frequency of your sprints. Also, if you use the Scrum agile method, the Scrum master, helped by their team, picks the product backlog to handle.

In the Scrum framework, the entire agile team, made up of the Scrum master, product owner, and development team members, take ownership of the sprint backlog. This is because each team member brings unique insight and expertise to the project at the beginning of each sprint.

The product owner’s role is to handle the user stories, ensuring their successful completion and prioritization. They’re typically aware of new market truths or shifting organizational priorities that may require specific user stories or fixes to be prioritized. The product owner sets the sprint’s overall objective, which guides the sprint backlog decisions.

On the other hand, the developers manage the creation of tasks and subtasks based on the user stories. They also decide what work will be taken into the sprint based on the sprint goal set by the product owner. The developers may have insights from previous sprints, such as recognizing that certain task development is taking longer than intended, which can inform the decisions made for the sprint backlog.

Scrum masters are responsible for projections and progress monitoring of each story. They ensure the team implements the agreed-upon steps for each sprint and that the backlog is continually updated and maintained. The sprint backlog acts as the base for the scrum board and receives different inputs from the product backlog, which is developed based on the product’s roadmap.

The sprint backlog presents a visual representation of a sprint’s requirements. Therefore, it contains various vital items from the product backlog. It should have any item the scrum team will work on during the period. So, how can you create a sprint backlog?

As a key element of sprint backlogs, user stories are the first step when creating a backlog. The user story should inform the development team of the approaches and priorities when developing new features. Ensure it describes common scenarios and has acceptance criteria—for example, as a user, I would like to upload and share files from my phone with other devices.

After including the user stories, create relevant tasks based on the accounts. The tasks should be a list of features to be developed for the user to achieve their goals. With the above example in mind, the team can include tasks such as:

Create an upload button for the files

Ask permission to access the files

Show a preview of the file before sending

Show delivery report once successfully sent

Subtasks are a further division of tasks. If your project has several steps that require completion to achieve the sprint goal, subtasks can be helpful. For instance, in our first task, we can have the following subtasks:

Write a unit test

Develop test cases

Design UI for the button

Bugs occur when the system doesn’t function as it should. The team will have to investigate and solve the issue. Bugs are usually prioritized as they affect end users, and during sprint planning, the team should allocate time to deal with future bugs.

For the smooth running of a product, the developers have to solve any maintenance issues. Sometimes there may be limited resources, and your team can choose a short-term solution acceptable per Agile principles. Such implementations are technical debt. Maintenance tasks can include upgrading your database or codebase to newer versions.

Maintenance issues aren’t always included in your backlog but should be prioritized once they occur.

In Agile frameworks, spikes are tasks introduced in your backlog to allocate time for research and exploration. For example, you can have tasks such as:

Research on voice authentication for sharing personal files

Investigate face-recognition software for authentication

Like maintenance issues, spikes can appear later in the development when the product owner introduces new advancements.

Product backlog tracks the actual product your team is working on. The size of an organization determines the number of product backlogs where there is an option of having a central one or multiple backlogs for various teams.

In contrast, a sprint backlog is a subset of the product backlog which contains the various tasks to be completed in an individual sprint. It helps identify the items from the product backlog your team should focus on during the sprint, and they should stay the same.

Therefore, the sprint backlog enables teams to deliver iterative value. By understanding the purpose and best practices for creating and managing a sprint backlog, you can unlock your team’s full potential, optimizing your organization’s development process.

A sprint is a short period allocated for a scrum team to complete several tasks. In contrast, a sprint backlog is a subset of a product backlog that outlines the set of product backlog items a development team is committed to accomplishing during the project sprint.

Epic is a large, high-level user story representing a significant feature that captures a broad scope of work that cannot be accomplished in a single sprint. In contrast, a sprint backlog is a subset of a product backlog that outlines the set of product backlog items a development team is committed to accomplishing during the project sprint.

The number of sprints in Agile software development can vary depending on the project, team, and organizational context. Agile promotes an iterative and incremental approach, dividing work into sprints. The sprint duration is typically between one to four weeks, with two weeks being a commonly used timeframe.

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We have gone through the Product Backlog artifact, and we know that this artifact is an order of a list of all the features that we need in the product. But we cannot work on all these items in one go, so we will need to pick some items that can be worked in a sprint. This tutorial will learn about the Sprint Backlog and how it’s important to Sprint’s success.

  • What is a Sprint Backlog?

    • Who Decides and owns the Sprint Backlog?
    • Is Sprint Backlog Prioritized?
    • Can we modify it during the Sprint?
    • What is the difference between a Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog?
  • How is Sprint Progress Monitored?

    • Story Pointing
    • Remaining Hours
    • Sprint Burndown chart

The Product Owner’s Role in the Sprint Backlog

The Product Owner plays a critical role in Sprint Backlog ownership by defining the requirements and priorities for the team. The Product Owner works with the Development Team to define the items that need to be completed in a given Sprint and prioritize them based on business needs. The Product Owner is also responsible for making sure the items in the Sprint Backlog align with the overall vision and goals of the Product.

Another important responsibility of the Product Owner in the Sprint Backlog is to ensure that the items are well-defined and have clear acceptance criteria. This helps the Development Team to understand what is expected of them and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or rework. The Product Owner should also be available to answer any questions the Development Team may have about the items in the Sprint Backlog.

Furthermore, the Product Owner should regularly review the progress of the Sprint Backlog with the Development Team and stakeholders. This allows for any necessary adjustments to be made to the priorities or requirements based on feedback or changes in the business environment. The Product Owner should also be open to feedback from the Development Team and stakeholders, and be willing to make changes to the Sprint Backlog as needed to ensure the best possible outcome for the Product.

sprint planning meeting simulation I sprint planning demo I sprint planning using jira
sprint planning meeting simulation I sprint planning demo I sprint planning using jira

Common Challenges with Ownership of the Sprint Backlog

There are several challenges associated with the ownership and management of the Sprint Backlog. One of the most common challenges is managing the expectations of stakeholders, including the team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. The team may have unrealistic expectations regarding what can be completed in a given Sprint. The Scrum Master may struggle to facilitate communication and collaboration between the team and Product Owner. The Product Owner may have difficulty prioritizing items appropriately to ensure the team meets business needs.

Another challenge with ownership of the Sprint Backlog is ensuring that the backlog is constantly updated and refined. This requires ongoing communication and collaboration between the team and Product Owner to ensure that the backlog reflects the current priorities and needs of the business. Failure to update the backlog regularly can result in missed opportunities and delays in delivering value to stakeholders.

Additionally, ownership of the Sprint Backlog can be challenging when dealing with unexpected changes or disruptions. For example, if a team member becomes unavailable or a new business requirement arises, the backlog may need to be adjusted to accommodate these changes. This requires flexibility and adaptability from all stakeholders involved in the Sprint, as well as effective communication to ensure that everyone is aware of the changes and their impact on the Sprint.

Sprint Backlog Template:

Backlog Task ASSIGNED TO TASK STATUS ESTIMATE (DAYS)
User story #1
Task
Task
Task
User story #2
Task
Task
Task
Bug fix #1
Task
Task
Task
Product Backlog Refinement in a Nutshell
Product Backlog Refinement in a Nutshell

Conclusion: The Value of the Sprint Backlog

Developing a sprint backlog to kick off each sprint is a valuable product-team ritual for several reasons. It gives the team a chance at the beginning of each new sprint to discuss what’s most strategically important (and feasible) to work on next.

It gives the developers a fixed set of tasks and to-do items that they focus on for the upcoming sprint without worrying that their workload could be completely upended at any time.

And it gives the agile team a continuous opportunity to apply new learnings about what types of stories, fixes, and other development work can be completed within a typical sprint timeframe, so they are able better estimate timeframes and resource levels — and bring work in on time.

In Agile software development, the sprint backlog plays a crucial role in managing and tracking the work to be done during a sprint. It acts as a guide for the development team, outlining the tasks and user stories that need to be completed within the sprint. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the definition of a sprint backlog, discuss its ownership, explore what goes into it, compare it with the product backlog, highlight its importance, and provide tips for effective sprint backlog management using Viindoo ERP Software. So, let’s get started!

Conclusion: The Value of the Sprint Backlog

Developing a sprint backlog to kick off each sprint is a valuable product-team ritual for several reasons. It gives the team a chance at the beginning of each new sprint to discuss what’s most strategically important (and feasible) to work on next.

It gives the developers a fixed set of tasks and to-do items that they focus on for the upcoming sprint without worrying that their workload could be completely upended at any time.

And it gives the agile team a continuous opportunity to apply new learnings about what types of stories, fixes, and other development work can be completed within a typical sprint timeframe, so they are able better estimate timeframes and resource levels — and bring work in on time.

A sprint backlog is a list of work items your team plans to complete during a project sprint. These items are usually pulled from the product backlog during the sprint planning session. A clear sprint backlog prevents scope creep by clarifying exactly what your team will be doing—and not doing—during each sprint. From creating one source of information to defining work items, a sprint backlog has many positive effects on team productivity. Find out how to implement one of your own.

When you’re working on a complex project, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed about the quantity of work. When that happens, everything from quality to team productivity suffers.

If you’ve ever been in a similar situation, you may be wondering if working in sprints is right for you. Sprints are short iterations that break multiple projects into manageable tasks.

While working in sprints can help your team stay organized and efficient, it can be intimidating to get started. After all, how do you know what to work on when?

That’s where the sprint backlog comes in. A sprint backlog is a way to clarify which work items your team will complete during a sprint. This ensures team members are on the same page with one source of truth. In this article, we’ll go over what a sprint backlog is and share an example to make creating your own log simple and effective.

A sprint backlog is a list of work items your team plans to complete during a project sprint. These items are usually pulled from the product backlog during the sprint planning session. A clear sprint backlog prevents scope creep by clarifying exactly what your team will be doing—and not doing—during each sprint.

Create a sprint backlog template

You and your team will create a sprint backlog during your sprint planning meeting. The exact frequency will vary based on how long your sprints are, but you’ll likely be doing this every two weeks or once a month. If you’re running the Scrum agile method, the Scrum master—with the help of the Scrum team—chooses product backlog items to tackle that week. If you’re running a different form of Agile, this could be done by a product owner or product manager.

As the Scrum master or product owner, it’s your responsibility to create the sprint backlog and distribute it to all project stakeholders. With the help of the product owner, you will choose backlog items based on priority. Then, document each task’s needs in the form of user stories. These are software features written from the perspective of the end user within a workflow.

A product backlog and sprint backlog differ quite significantly, though both begin at the product level.

A product backlog tracks what the product team works on. Depending on the size of your organization, you may have one central product backlog or multiple product backlogs for different teams. The product owner will refine the product backlog periodically to make sure the most important initiatives are at the top and each initiative has all of the information needed to execute against it.

A sprint backlog is a subset of the product backlog and lists the work items to complete in one specific sprint. The purpose of the sprint backlog is to identify items from the product backlog that the team will work on during the sprint. This occurs during the sprint planning process. These items move from the product backlog into the sprint backlog and shouldn’t change once the sprint begins.

Create a sprint backlog template

The purpose of a sprint backlog is to define work items to tackle within the sprint. This keeps information in one shared space in order to streamline communication and create one central source of sprint information.

Items that are not in the backlog are not in scope. This creates a clear path, ensuring team members can focus on the task ahead to avoid scope creep.

Create a sprint backlog during the planning phase of a new project sprint. While you can update individual tasks with details and additional progress during the sprint, the backlog itself shouldn’t alter during execution.

The log is then stored in a shared space for stakeholders and Scrum masters to review during a retrospective meeting to evaluate what went well and what didn’t.

A sprint backlog is the source of all sprint information, making it a crucial component of any successful sprint strategy. It can be helpful to think of a sprint backlog as a roadmap to log all Scrum artifacts.

A sprint backlog should include important components like user stories and task descriptions.

Your backlog should document specific components like the name of your current sprint, the descriptions and user stories for each initiative, each task’s priority, relevant real time changes, and scheduling details for sprint planning meetings or daily standups—just to name a few. To get you started on a backlog of your own, ensure you include these details:

User story: A user story is a software feature written from the perspective of the end user. It’s an important piece to include in order to understand the effect each feature has on the end user.

Task name: While obvious enough, keep your backlog organized by starting each task with a clear, action-oriented name. Ensure each task title starts with a verb—for example, “Design new mobile component for web app” is more descriptive than “New mobile component.” This will help stakeholders quickly understand the backlog and deliverables that each team member is working on.

Task description: Along with an actionable name, include a brief description of each task. This creates clarity around tasks so stakeholders are aware of upcoming steps.

Task prioritization: Since there are a number of tasks in a given project, it’s important to prioritize your most important objectives. This ensures you meet deadlines and your sprint stays on track.

Sprint burndown chart: A burndown chart is a graph that represents the work left to do versus the time it takes to complete it. During a sprint, your team will use these charts to estimate how long each iteration will take.

Daily time allocation: In order to track your time estimates against the actual time on your burndown chart, you need to track daily time allocations. Analyze how long each task takes in minutes or hours. At the end of the week, total up your weekly time allocations for each task to complete your burndown chart.

While each sprint backlog will differ slightly, these are all important details to include when starting your own backlog.

Now that you know what’s included in a sprint backlog, how exactly do you create one? Since Scrum masters use a new backlog for each sprint, it’s important to have a baseline to work off of.

The key to creating a backlog is to make a blank template that you can use for each of your sprints. In your template, you should include columns for each of the functionalities listed above.

Here is an example of a sprint planning and backlog project to give you an idea of how to create a template of your own:

While there are different tools you can use to create a sprint backlog, using a digital product like a workflow management tool can be helpful. A software tool can keep information stored in one shared place and make it easy to communicate with team members.

When working on complex projects with multiple stakeholders, coordinating work can be like solving a puzzle. Each piece has to work together seamlessly. That’s why working in sprints can enhance efficiency, encourage collaboration, and make meeting your goals easier.

From planning to organizing and managing agile projects, sprint backlogs help to collaborate project components as a team. Use kanban boards to simplify projects and communicate effectively with agile management software.

Create a sprint backlog template

You can’t plan for everything that will occur during a sprint, but creating a detailed, well-prioritized sprint backlog can go a long way toward positioning your team for success.

In this guide, we’ll break down the elements of a sprint backlog, demonstrate with real-world examples how to create one, and outline some tips and best practices to help you optimize the way your team works during a sprint.

A sprint backlog is a list of items for the product team to work on during a sprint. The highest-priority items from the product backlog are added to a sprint backlog if the team chooses to work on them during the sprint.

As the name suggests, the sprint backlog is created during sprint planning. Sprint planning is one of the events in the scrum framework during which the team plans its work for upcoming weeks.

Several factors contribute to creating a sprint backlog, including team velocity, any existing impediments, available resources, dependencies, etc.

The sprint backlog should contain straightforward tasks for developers to work on during the current sprint. The backlog also includes stories that describe the high-level user value of the product and detailed tasks that break down the user story in simple, attainable development steps.

More extensive or complicated tasks can be further split into subtasks. The objective is to break down user stories into achievable action items that can be completed within a day, producing specific user value and contributing to the sprint goal.

The entire scrum team is responsible for creating and maintaining the sprint backlog:

All team members should constantly update and maintain the backlog so that the scrum team can follow the progress of every sprint and the work completed at a glance. This transparency is especially crucial for teams that work cross-functionally and depend on other teams to complete a user story.

Each story goes through a few steps, which the scrum team agrees upon when the sprint starts. The sprint backlog is the base of the scrum board. The scrum team creates the sprint backlog to help it visualize everyday work, progress, and leftover tasks. Input for a sprint backlog comes from the product backlog, which is created from the product roadmap.

The sprint backlog is a visualization of a sprint’s to-do list. As such, it consists of top-priority items from the product backlog as well as any other tasks, subtasks, technical debts, bugs, and defects.

Any item that the scrum team plans to work on during the sprint should be added to the sprint backlog.

Let’s examine each element of a sprint backlog in greater detail and show how to create one by referring to a real-world example.

A user story summarizes a user’s expectations and describes the user journey.

The user story should contain the acceptance criteria and describe a few common scenarios, including the negative scenarios.

Here’s an example of a user story:

As a user, I want to upload a picture from my phone to share it with my friends.

A user story like the example above should inform the way the development team approaches and prioritizes building new features. For example, when a user clicks on the button, a pop-up to ask for permission to access the photo gallery should appear. When the user rejects the permission, the user should be presented with an error message.

The tasks section should consist of list of things that need to be developed or achieved to fulfill the user story.

The following tasks could possibly follow the user story in the example above:


Create a button to upload the picture


Ask permission to access the photo gallery


Open the photo gallery in the app as a thumbnail image to select one photo


Show an enlarged preview of the selected photo before sending


Show delivery date and time stamp below the image once successfully sent

Subtasks represent a further division of tasks. Subtasks are useful for complex projects that require more than a few steps to be completed.

An example list of subtasks might look something like this:


Write a unit test


Create test cases


Create a UI component for the button

When the system doesn’t behave the way it is supposed to, a bug is created to investigate and solve the issue.

Bugs aren’t estimated and are usually prioritized because they are in production and affect real users. During sprint planning, a scrum team should allocate time for unforeseen bugs.

An example of a bug is a user encountering a 404 error instead of a new page.

Technical debt and maintenance issues are tasks the dev team needs to complete to keep the system going or prevent it from crashing.

Sometimes, due to a lack of time or resources, the team may decide to take a shortcut and develop working software quickly instead of committing to steady, future-proof development. This is acceptable according to the agile principles, provided that it is only a short-term solution.

These implementations are referred to as technical debt. Maintenance tasks are tasks required to keep the program running and upgrade the database to a new version or codebase due to lack of support.

Below is an example of technical debt:

Make a dynamic fetch of the text instead of hard–coding in the pop-up.

Below is an example of a maintenance task:

Upgrade the oracle database to 19 C version.

Technical debt and maintenance issues are not always included the sprint backlog; they may appear as and when required and prioritized by the product owner.

A spike is a new type of task introduced in agile frameworks to enable the team to allocate time for exploration, investigation, and research.

Examples of spikes include tasks like:


Investigate new face-reading software for login service


Survey new voice search service

Like technical debt and maintenance tasks, spikes are not a regular part of the sprint backlog. They may appear at the beginning of a new project or if the organization decides on some advancements.

While it is important to prioritize the product backlog to achieve the product vision as outlined in the roadmap, correctly prioritizing it is equally essential.

A prioritized sprint backlog enables you to:

Below are some tips and best practices to help you prioritize your sprint backlog and set your team up for a successful sprint.

Complex user stories tend to grab developers’ attention and pique their curiosity. As a result, it can be tempting to prioritize complicated tasks. This approach often leads to items languishing between “in development” and “ready for testing” for too long. Then testers then get a bunch of stories towards the end of the sprint, causing further delays. Slower progress can cause frustration, erode motivation, and result in incomplete sprint goals.

The best practice for prioritizing the sprint backlog is to start with small, simple tasks, and then move on to more complicated tasks. Always have some standalone tasks in the sprint backlog that any team member can take and start developing if they are stuck on a different task that is halted due to unresolved dependencies.

Prioritizing dependencies in the right order will optimize development time. In many cases, a frontend task is dependent on a backend service to be ready. Figure out the interdependent roles and prioritize them accordingly so no one on the team is waiting for another to finish.

Prioritizing dependencies with cross-functional teams is even more challenging. When working on a major cross-functional feature, try to have a backlog refinement beforehand to identify and resolve dependencies. If possible, try to establish a commitment or time plan before starting sprint planning.

When talking about stories during sprint planning, if there are a series of issues identified, prioritize those investigations early in the sprint so there is enough time to develop and test. Investigation may require a few meetings and collaborations, which can be managed alongside development of the less complicated tasks in the beginning of the sprint.

There are few impediments that might reoccur during development. Try to identify and solve them beforehand, then prioritize the task for development.

One common example of such an impediment relates to firewalls; when working with third-party services, opening firewalls in advance can save a lot of time during development.

One common miscalculation during sprint planning is failing to estimate sickness, leave, and vacations for the team members.

Discuss the availability of all team members and determine whether there are any holidays or vacations during the sprint duration. Organize the tasks and velocity accordingly. Align the dependencies between the tasks and availability of the resources.

Even with a T-shaped team, some expertise is shared by certain individuals and other people cannot contribute to even when needed.

Another common mistake product teams make is failing to account for unforeseen tasks and complications. If a team manages an already-active product, there should always be room to resolve incidents and bugs. Even if the team is working on one of the very first features of a product, there will still be errors that are difficult to identify and take a lot of effort to resolve.

A good rule of thumb for accounting for unpredictable circumstances is to dedicate 80 percent of the team’s velocity to new development while reserving 20 percent for unforeseen events.

These tips and best practices are purely from experience, not from any books or courses. Product management is always evolving, therefore learning and adapting should be the norm. The best way to set yourself and your team up for success is to always be agile at the core.

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Product insights involves the collection of data and gathering key information about user’s preferences and displayed behaviors.

Hypothesis-driven development focuses the development effort of validating a team’s most pressing hypotheses.

Ellen Linardi, SVP of Product and Design at Clover, shares how her design-oriented team came to understand the importance of system thinking.

As a PM, you want to make knowledge sharing as easy as possible to avoid bottlenecks and keep your team operating autonomously.

Who owns product backlog

The ownership of the product backlog typically falls to the Product Owner in Agile methodologies like Scrum. The Product Owner is a critical role responsible for representing the interests of the stakeholders, including customers and the development team. Here’s how the ownership of the product backlog works:

Product Owner (PO):

The Product Owner is the primary owner of the product backlog. Their responsibilities include:

  • Prioritization: Deciding the order of items in the backlog based on business value, customer feedback, and other factors.

  • Refinement: Ensuring that backlog items are well-defined, clear, and have detailed acceptance criteria.

  • Communication: Actively communicating with stakeholders to gather requirements, feedback, and changes to the backlog.

  • Decision-Making: Making decisions regarding which items get worked on in each sprint or iteration.

  • Maximizing Value: Maximizing the value delivered by the development team through backlog management.

Collaboration with the Development Team:

While the Product Owner owns the backlog, they collaborate closely with the development team. The team provides input during backlog refinement, estimates the effort required for each item, and raises concerns or questions about the backlog items. This collaboration ensures a shared understanding and commitment to the work.

Stakeholder Involvement:

The Product Owner also interacts with stakeholders to gather their input, needs, and feedback, which helps inform backlog prioritization and refinement. The Product Owner represents the interests of these stakeholders when making decisions about the backlog.

Backlog Refinement Sessions:

Backlog refinement is a collaborative process that involves the Product Owner, development team, and sometimes stakeholders.

During these sessions, backlog items are reviewed, discussed, and refined to ensure they meet the team’s Definition of Ready (DoR).

  • Stories need to be immediately actionable in order to meet the definition of ready.

  • An essential component of the backlog refinement process is the definition of Ready.

  • The User Story or PBI must be finished, therefore the Team must be able to estimate how much work is needed to finish it.

  • The Team must be aware of the requirements for when a story is considered “done” and the tests that will be run to verify this.

  • Clear, short, and most crucially, actionable, are the qualities of “ready” stories.

Continuous Adaptation:

The Product Owner continuously adapts the backlog based on changing priorities, market conditions, feedback, and the evolving product roadmap.

Balance and Trade-offs:

The Product Owner must balance competing priorities, manage trade-offs, and make tough decisions when faced with resource constraints or conflicting stakeholder interests.

Transparency:

It is essential for the Product Owner to maintain transparency by keeping the backlog up-to-date and sharing it with the development team and stakeholders.

In summary, the Product Owner is the primary owner of the product backlog, responsible for its prioritization, refinement, and alignment with the product vision and stakeholder needs. However, successful backlog management also requires close collaboration with the development team and active engagement with stakeholders to ensure that the backlog reflects the most valuable work items for the product.

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Disclaimer: This post is written by the author in his capacity and doesn’t reflect the views of any other organization and/or person.

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Who own the Sprint backlog.

Dear

I had found discussion on Internet regarding to this topic. some of them reply the whole Scrum Team own that. because it’s the team decision, PO make the prioritization, and it have to be mapping to the Sprint Goal. but for the detail, Developers are the only group who decide what to do in the Sprint. so i am little confused regarding to this topic.

pls feel free to let me know if you have any opinion.

Thanks in advance.

Hello @Guojun,

The Developers own the Sprint Backlog, not the Scrum Team. Per the Scrum Guide:

The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers. It is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Developers plan to accomplish during the Sprint in order to achieve the Sprint Goal. Consequently, the Sprint Backlog is updated throughout the Sprint as more is learned. It should have enough detail that they can inspect their progress in the Daily Scrum.

Hi @Guojun Lu!

@Eric is right, it is definitely and the Development Team that owns the Sprint Backlog!

The Sprint Backlog is everything that needs to be done, plus the plan the developers have to achieve it, along with an over-arching goal that describes what the developers are aiming for.

Who else is better equipped to deal with those items than the developers who are doing the work!

“The Sprint Backlog is composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the Increment (how).” -The Scrum Guide, page 11

[Image from scrum.org]

Sprint Backlog vs Product Backlog

Sometimes people confuse the Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog.

The Product Owner has more responsibility with regards to the Product Backlog, as the Scrum Guide states “the Product Owner is also accountable for effective Product Backlog management”

You mentioned “The PO makes the prioritization of the Product Backlog.”

That’s 100% correct. But the Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog have different rules associated with them.

[Image from scrum.org]

I had found discussion on Internet regarding to this topic. some of them reply the whole Scrum Team own that. because it’s the team decision, PO make the prioritization, and it have to be mapping to the Sprint Goal. but for the detail, Developers are the only group who decide what to do in the Sprint. so i am little confused regarding to this topic.

I think you may be conflating the Developers’ ownership of the Sprint Backlog with the Scrum Team’s skill in collaborating over the work on it. For example, if the Developers believed that the forecast of PBIs ought to change to better meet the Sprint Goal, they would collaborate with the PO when making that decision. The Sprint Backlog is still theirs.

Dear all, Many thanks for your detail explanation. much clear now.

How to conduct a Product Backlog Refinement Meeting using Jira I backlog refinement facilitation
How to conduct a Product Backlog Refinement Meeting using Jira I backlog refinement facilitation

Manage sprint backlogs better with Jira Software

Sprint backlogs help you structure your team’s work before, during, and after a sprint. If you use them effectively, they can help you accurately predict future sprints and manage expectations. A well-crafted and maintained sprint backlog increases sprint efficiency.

Jira Software makes backlog refinement and sprint planning easy. You can easily create a scrum backlog to build a queue of issues, which is extremely helpful when planning and executing sprints.

What Goes into a Sprint Backlog?

As Mountain Goat Software’s Mike Cohn explains, sprint backlogs are often built-in spreadsheets, but they can also be developed and maintained in software tools designed for agile project management or even in your organization’s bug-tracking application.

Because these lists include only work that can be completed in a short timeframe (typically, two or four weeks), sprint backlogs are often very simple.

An example of a sprint backlog template might look like this:

A Real Sprint Review Meeting Example
A Real Sprint Review Meeting Example

Benefits of using a sprint backlog

Sprint backlogs are a powerful tool for project managers, especially those practicing an Agile methodology such as Scrum. If you’re a Scrum master, you’ll find sprint backlogs useful to structure and manage your team’s workload.

Let’s break down the benefits of sprint backlogs:

  • Increases estimate accuracy: As a plan of action, the sprint backlog allows for more accurate timelines and estimates for your deliverables. This avoids unreasonable deadlines that strain your team.
  • Boosts productivity: Teams experience less stress when they set achievable goals because these goals help them focus, increasing their productivity.
  • Improves forecasts for future sprints: Teams can analyze their ability to complete tasks within a sprint, helping them accurately predict the workload they can handle in future sprints.
  • Increases accountability: Teams participate in the sprint planning process. They agree on the tasks in the sprint backlog based on their capacity, giving them ownership of the work.

The Scrum Master’s Role in the Sprint Backlog

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Development Team follows Scrum principles and processes. The Scrum Master works with the team to ensure that the Sprint Backlog is updated on a regular basis and that the team is on track to meet its goals. The Scrum Master also facilitates the Scrum ceremonies, such as the Sprint Planning Meeting, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Scrum Master also acts as a coach and mentor to the Development Team. They help the team to identify and overcome any obstacles that may be preventing them from achieving their goals. The Scrum Master also encourages the team to continuously improve their processes and practices, and to embrace a culture of collaboration and transparency.

Another important aspect of the Scrum Master’s role in the Sprint Backlog is to ensure that the team is working on the highest priority items first. They work with the Product Owner to understand the business priorities and to ensure that the team is focused on delivering the most valuable features to the customer. The Scrum Master also helps the team to break down larger items into smaller, more manageable tasks, and to estimate the effort required to complete each task.

What is backlog grooming?  Definition, Overview, and Best Practices
What is backlog grooming? Definition, Overview, and Best Practices

Conclusion: Who Should Own The Sprint Backlog?

In conclusion, the Sprint Backlog is a shared artifact in Scrum that is owned jointly by the Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. Each stakeholder has a specific role in creating, updating, and prioritizing the Sprint Backlog. To ensure effective ownership and management of the Sprint Backlog, stakeholders should collaborate effectively, be transparent and honest about progress and challenges, and regularly inspect and adapt the process. By following these best practices, stakeholders can ensure that the Sprint Backlog is properly owned and managed.

Sprint BacklogProduct Backlog: What’s the Difference?

The product backlog is the comprehensive list of product-related tasks that, at any given time, should encompass all of the things the cross-functional team has agreed to work on eventually, either to bring the product to market or to improve it. When these items are kept in order of priority, a product backlog should communicate which user stories, features, bug fixes, and other to-do items the development team should work on next.a

You can also think of the product backlog as a tactical, task-level breakdown of the strategic plan outlined in your product roadmap.

With that in mind, a sprint backlog is a much shorter list pulled from the items on the product backlog — specifically, those items the team identifies during a sprint planning meeting as the most important tasks to complete next.

Here are a few key takeaways about the distinction between sprint backlogs and product backlogs, and how the two work together:

1. Sprint backlog items should be taken directly from the product backlog.

2. While the product backlog can be changed frequently at any time, according to the always-changing realities in an organization or in the market, the sprint backlog should remain as fixed as possible throughout the duration of the sprint.

3. The product team should conduct regular product backlog grooming sessions, to ensure that sprint planning meetings are productive and that the team is able to quickly identify the right tasks to place on the next sprint backlog.

4. The top items on a well-groomed, prioritized product backlog will often represent the upcoming sprint backlog.

5. If the team is unable to complete (or even begin) certain sprint backlog items by the end of the sprint, the team might choose to add those unfinished jobs either to the next sprint backlog — if they are still deemed high priority — or to the product backlog to be addressed again in the future.

#Hustler: Agile Project Management with Scrum Methodology - LIVE❗ | #ARDHKX
#Hustler: Agile Project Management with Scrum Methodology – LIVE❗ | #ARDHKX

Sprint BacklogProduct Backlog: What’s the Difference?

The product backlog is the comprehensive list of product-related tasks that, at any given time, should encompass all of the things the cross-functional team has agreed to work on eventually, either to bring the product to market or to improve it. When these items are kept in order of priority, a product backlog should communicate which user stories, features, bug fixes, and other to-do items the development team should work on next.a

You can also think of the product backlog as a tactical, task-level breakdown of the strategic plan outlined in your product roadmap.

With that in mind, a sprint backlog is a much shorter list pulled from the items on the product backlog — specifically, those items the team identifies during a sprint planning meeting as the most important tasks to complete next.

Here are a few key takeaways about the distinction between sprint backlogs and product backlogs, and how the two work together:

1. Sprint backlog items should be taken directly from the product backlog.

2. While the product backlog can be changed frequently at any time, according to the always-changing realities in an organization or in the market, the sprint backlog should remain as fixed as possible throughout the duration of the sprint.

3. The product team should conduct regular product backlog grooming sessions, to ensure that sprint planning meetings are productive and that the team is able to quickly identify the right tasks to place on the next sprint backlog.

4. The top items on a well-groomed, prioritized product backlog will often represent the upcoming sprint backlog.

5. If the team is unable to complete (or even begin) certain sprint backlog items by the end of the sprint, the team might choose to add those unfinished jobs either to the next sprint backlog — if they are still deemed high priority — or to the product backlog to be addressed again in the future.

What is a Sprint Backlog?

A sprint backlog can be defined as a subset of items from the product backlog that the development team commits to completing during a sprint. It consists of user stories, bug fixes, technical tasks, and other work items necessary to achieve the sprint goal. The sprint backlog is created during the sprint planning meeting and is based on the priorities set by the product owner.

The main purpose of the sprint backlog is to provide a clear plan for the development team to follow during the sprint. It helps the team understand what needs to be accomplished and allows them to track their progress. By breaking down larger user stories into smaller tasks, the sprint backlog provides a detailed overview of the work to be done.

When is the Sprint Backlog Created?

The sprint backlog is created during the sprint planning meeting, which typically takes place at the beginning of each sprint. During this meeting, the product owner presents the highest priority items from the product backlog to the development team. The team then discusses and estimates the effort required for each item before deciding which ones to include in the sprint backlog.

The sprint planning meeting is an opportunity for the team to collaborate and determine how much work they can realistically complete within the upcoming sprint. It is important to strike a balance between having enough work to keep the team occupied but not overwhelming them with an excessive workload.

Who Owns the Sprint Backlog?

The sprint backlog belongs solely to the development team. Unlike the product backlog, where the product owner has ownership, the sprint backlog is managed and controlled by the development team. They decide which items to include, how to break them down into tasks, and in what order they should be completed.

The product owner, however, still plays a crucial role in providing guidance and clarifying any questions the development team may have regarding the user stories or tasks. The product owner’s input helps the team understand the context and requirements of each item in the sprint backlog.

Who Can Execute the Work of the Sprint Backlog?

The work defined in the sprint backlog is executed by the development team. The team members are responsible for selecting the tasks they will work on based on their skills, expertise, and availability. This self-organization allows team members to take ownership of their work and encourages cross functional collaboration within the team.

In Scrum, the most commonly used framework for Agile development, there are no predefined roles such as programmers, testers, or designers. Instead, the development team collectively assumes responsibility for delivering a working product increment at the end of each sprint.

Who Can Execute the Work of the Sprint Backlog?

A sprint backlog typically includes user stories, bug fixes, technical tasks, and any other work items identified by the development team during the sprint planning meeting. These items are derived from the product backlog and are prioritized based on their importance and value to the project.

To ensure a successful sprint, it is essential to create well-defined and manageable user stories. User stories should follow the INVEST criteria, which states that they should be Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, and Testable.

Here is an example of a sprint backlog:

User Story Description Tasks
User Story 1 As a user, I want to be able to sign up – Design the signup form- Implement backend API
User Story 2 As a user, I want to be able to log in – Create login page- Implement authentication mechanism
User Story 3 As a user, I want to view my profile – Design profile page- Fetch and display user data
Bug Fix Fix issue with image upload functionality – Identify the cause of the bug- Apply necessary fixes
Technical Task Optimize database queries – Analyze query performance- Refactor SQL queries

In this example, the user stories are broken down into tasks that can be easily managed and completed by individual team members. Each task represents a specific action that needs to be taken to fulfill the requirements of the user story.

What May Be Included in the Sprint Backlog

The sprint backlog may include various types of work items depending on the project and its requirements. Here are some common examples:

  1. User Stories: These represent features or functionalities requested by the users or stakeholders.
  2. Bug Fixes: Addressing issues, defects, or errors found in the software.
  3. Technical Tasks: Infrastructure setup, refactoring code, optimizing performance, or improving documentation.
  4. Testing Tasks: Writing and executing test cases, conducting automated or manual testing.
  5. Research and Prototyping: Exploring new technologies, conducting feasibility studies, or creating prototypes.
  6. Documentation: Creating or updating user manuals, technical guides, or API documentation.

By including a diverse range of work items, the sprint backlog ensures that all aspects of the project progress from development to testing and documentation, are adequately addressed within the sprint.

Product Backlog vs Sprint Backlog: Key Differences

While both the product backlog and sprint backlog serve as valuable tools in Agile development, there are key differences between them. Let’s compare these two backlogs to better understand their distinct roles:

Feature Product Backlog Sprint Backlog
Ownership Product Owner/Team Development Team
Scope Encompasses all future requirements and features Limited to the current sprint
Level of Detail High-level user stories with minimal breakdown Detailed tasks and subtasks for sprint execution
Prioritization Decided by the Product Owner based on business value Decided collaboratively by the Development Team in the sprint planning meeting
Long-term Planning Provides a roadmap for the whole project Focuses on short-term goals, aligning with the sprint duration
Flexibility Items can be added, removed, or reprioritized at any time Changes during the sprint are discouraged, except for extreme cases
Visibility Visible to the entire team and stakeholders Primarily visible to the development team
Adaptability Can evolve over time as new requirements arise Remains fixed within the sprint
Timeframe Not tied to a specific timeframe Limited to the duration of the sprint

Understanding the differences between the product backlog and sprint backlog is crucial for effective project management and ensuring that both backlogs complement each other throughout the development process.

YDS: How Does a PO Assess the Value of a Product Backlog Item?
YDS: How Does a PO Assess the Value of a Product Backlog Item?

Tips for managing your sprint backlog

Managing your sprint backlog is just as important for your team as managing a product backlog. Both prevent your team from working on tasks irrelevant to your product or customers. Effectively managing a sprint backlog requires project managers to continually ask their team for input, analyze the team’s processes, and monitor their progress. Jira software’s scrum template makes managing your backlog easy.

Here are a few tips to effectively manage your sprint backlog:

  • Ask for input from team members. From the early stages of sprint planning, getting the team’s input is vital. Their buy-in on tasks during a sprint creates a sense of ownership among the team.
  • Use the Definition of Done. Every sprint must have solid, defined, and realistic criteria of what constitutes completion. This lets your team know when the task is complete.
  • Streamline your process. Analyze workflows and workloads along the way to streamline the process for the next sprint.
  • Keep the backlog flexible. While it is vital to mitigate scope creep, hiccups occur, and the backlog needs to be dynamic enough to handle them.

How Often Should It Be Updated?

The Sprint Backlog should be updated daily. Typically, items are in an overall Product Backlog. Teams will take those items and break them down into tasks. The tasks should be achievable in less than one day. If you are falling behind, having the tasks broken down that way will let you know if are on-track or falling behind. In the daily scrum meetings, you should be able to report progress every day.

In the event you are not updating and refining the Sprint Backlog daily, you will quickly realize it when you are not seeing work being completed, or the team is falling behind on the work. If it is not correctly updated, multiple days may go by without knowing that the team is no longer on-track.

With smaller, one-day tasks and daily updates teams can better pivot and react to progress. Teams that do not update daily tend not to pay much attention to the plan for the Sprint and are more likely to fail during the Sprint.

[Mythbusting] What Happens To The Sprint Backlog Items That Are Not Done?
[Mythbusting] What Happens To The Sprint Backlog Items That Are Not Done?

Who Manages the Sprint Backlog?

The Sprint Backlog management is done by the Development Team. Best practices include using the Daily Scrum to update the Sprint Backlog every day. The team should be communicating regularly to realize dependencies or impediments based on the work they complete. The minute the Development Team decides they cannot get an item done, they should talk to the Product Owner. The communication will then revolve around setting expectations and discussing possible solutions.

Tips for Effective Management of the Sprint Backlog

To effectively manage the Sprint Backlog, stakeholders should follow some best practices. These include:

  • Regularly reviewing and updating the Sprint Backlog
  • Being transparent and honest about progress and challenges
  • Collaborating frequently to ensure alignment with the Product vision and goals
  • Regularly inspecting and adapting the process to improve continuously
How To Create A Product Backlog | #5
How To Create A Product Backlog | #5

Key components of a sprint backlog

Now let’s look at the specific components of a sprint backlog.

User story

User stories explain how a feature will benefit the end user. It is a simple story, without overly technical jargon, that explains how the user will use the feature. This provides a reason for why an item is on the backlog.

User stories provide the development team with a key understanding of the impact of the product on the user, providing context for what the team is building and why. A key component of any Agile methodology is people, and user stories advocate for those using the product or service.

Tasks and subtasks

Tasks are created from the user stories, and each task may comprise numerous subtasks. The tasks are the activities required to fulfill the user story. For example, a new feature may require the user to perform several steps. The functionality required for each step could be turned into tasks (with subtasks added for more complex steps).

Each task and subtask includes a name, description, priority, assignee, list of deliverables, and deadline. For instance, if your team is building out a comment feature for a social app, your task list might look like this:

Task

Create a comment feature

Description

Allow users to comment on posts

Priority

High

Assignee

Lanisha, DesignerRoland, Developer

Deliverable

Comment box

Due date

Aug. 24

Technical blockers

Technical blockers are hazards the team might encounter while developing the product, such as technical debt or a bug. Technical debt is the necessary maintenance and bugs the development team deals with to keep the product running.

These might come up during development or testing, slowing your team down. You may have to add a task or subtask to remove this roadblock.

In Scrum, they’re also known as impediments.

Assignees

Team capacity is a major component of sprint planning, affecting which tasks the team includes in the sprint backlog. Once a task is on the backlog, it needs an owner who can execute the work of the sprint backlog to complete the task.

The sprint backlog provides accountability and responsibility to ensure the team finishes each task.

Burndown chart

A burndown chart visually represents the work completed and the work remaining. This is useful because it’s an easy-to-see progress chart. Project teams can use this chart to see if they’re hitting their targets and plot their completion time estimates.

A burndown chart helps decide whether your team’s current workload is too heavy or too light. It can also highlight any discrepancies between time estimates and actual completion time. You can easily create a burndown chart in Jira Software.

Estimated and actual time

A burndown chart helps visualize the allocated time of a task versus its completion time. Project managers track this daily during a sprint.

Each day, you can analyze how long it takes your team to complete a task, compare that time to the original estimate, and record this information on the burndown chart. This time tracking helps keep the team on track to meet their deadlines.

Understanding Scrum and the Sprint Backlog

Scrum is a flexible framework for managing complex projects. It is based on iterative and incremental development principles that aim to deliver working software in short periods of time. The Sprint Backlog is an important artifact in Scrum because it outlines the Development Team’s work plan for the current Sprint. It is a living document that is updated as the team completes individual tasks and adds new ones as priorities shift. Apart from the Development Team, the other Scrum stakeholders who play a role in owning the Sprint Backlog are the Product Owner and the Scrum Master.

The Sprint Backlog is not only a tool for the Development Team to manage their work, but it also serves as a communication tool for the entire Scrum Team. The Product Owner uses the Sprint Backlog to understand the progress of the team and to make decisions about the product backlog. The Scrum Master uses the Sprint Backlog to facilitate the Scrum events and to identify any impediments that may be preventing the team from achieving their Sprint Goal. By keeping the Sprint Backlog up-to-date and transparent, the Scrum Team can work together effectively to deliver high-quality software.

Difference Between Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog #pmp #Scrum #agile
Difference Between Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog #pmp #Scrum #agile

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